As part of his decades long struggle to assist pro-abort politicians, Father Thomas Reese, SJ, had a piece in the Washington Post attacking the bishops and cardinals who have spoken out against Obama Day on May 17, 2009.  The article is fisked to pieces in the Father Z style here.

Reese of course is the former editor of the Jesuit journal America, who was bounced from that post in 2005 by order of the Vatican after he had spent many years defending the magisterium.  The problem of course was that the magisterium he was protecting was that of the secular Left in this country and it often ran counter to the Magisterium that Reese was pledged to defend and obey.  This is not the first time that Father Reese has spoken out in support of Obama speaking at Notre Dame.  Carl Olson at Insight Scoop dealt with Reese’s last attempt to defend the indefensible.

Jesuits like Father Reese, active opponents to the Church on so many occasions, do a great deal of damage to the once noble Society of Jesus.  An organization that for centuries was a chief support for the Church, with great and good exceptions is now too often a force against the Church.  Pope Benedict has been sending “hints’ to the Jesuits for some time that they must change.

“Precisely for this reason I have invited you [here] and I invite you to reflect on how to find the fullest sense of your ‘fourth vow’ of obedience to the successor of Peter that is so characteristic of you, it implies not only the readiness to be sent in mission to far away lands, but also– in the most genuine Ignatian spirit of ‘sensing with the Church and in the Church’ – to ‘love and serve’ the Vicar of Christ on earth with that ‘affective and effective’ devotion which must make of you valuable and irreplaceable cooperators in his service to the Universal Church.”

“All of us must be vigilant so that the necessary adaptation will not be accomplished to the detriment of the fundamental identity or essential character of the role of the Jesuit as is described in the Formula Instituti as the history and particular spirituality of the Order
propose it, and as the authentic interpretation of the very needs of the times seem
still to require it. This image must not be altered; it must not be distorted.”

I find little evidence that the Pope is being heeded by the vast majority of Jesuits.

Update: Patrick at Creative Minority Report sums it up rather well here.

24 Responses to Jesuitical

  1. Donna V. says:

    The headline of Reese’s article is telling: “Most Catholics Aren’t Listening.” Well, that settles it then.

    If someone had shown Our Lord a poll titled “Jesus, Most Jews Aren’t Listening” well, He could have saved himself a lot of grief by just returning to Galilee and keeping His mouth shut instead of going around upsetting people with unpopular statements.

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Quite right Donna. The reaction of the Apostles to Our Lord’s teaching on divorce is a good indication of what would happen if Catholic moral teaching were to be determined by popular vote!

  3. More anti-Jesuit hate from a “Catholic” site. Nice.

  4. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Yeah Catholic Anarchist, the Pope’s criticisms of the Jesuits, and the criticisms of John Paul II, were all motivated by “hate”. If you aspire to resident troll status on this blog you will have to do better than that.

  5. Donna V. says:

    A good part of Don’s post quotes Benedict directly. The Holy Father really needs to stop with all the “hatred,” which Michael I apparently defines as “criticism of people who hold the same political views I do.”

  6. Phillip says:

    From Creative Minority Report:

    “Of course he (Obama) wants no such thing. Forget about third trimester restrictions, he doesn’t even support fourth trimester restrictions. His support of Roe v Wade will make any serious restrictions in the States impossible.”

    I wish I had written that.

  7. Mike Petrik says:

    Donna, you have nailed it. I really don’t know why this anarchist fellow bothers to post here, since he invariably just embarrasses himself. He needs to stick to forums that don’t attract people bright enough to so deftly dispose of his bumper sticker drivel.

  8. No, the embarrassment is you folks who consistently use the words of the Popes to support your own hatred of various “others,” including the Jesuits.

    When will you get it through your heads: Benedict is NOT LIKE YOU!

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Hatred Catholic Anarchist? I hate Father Reese doing his best to give aid and comfort to the most pro-abort President in our nation’s history. Since I don’t know Reese personally I have no opinion of him as a person but only opinions of his actions. As for the Jesuits, my criticisms merely echo what the popes have said. The Jesuits draw criticism because of their actions and not because people simply decide to hate an “other”.

  10. Phillip says:

    “When will you get it through your heads: Benedict is NOT LIKE YOU!”

    I know that. Better yet, he’s not like you. He’s Benedict.

  11. I hate Father Reese doing his best to give aid and comfort to the most pro-abort President in our nation’s history.

    If that’s what he’s doing, I hate it too.


    As for the Jesuits, my criticisms merely echo what the popes have said.

    They do not.

  12. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Untrue Catholic Anarchist as to me not echoing criticisms of the popes in regard to the Jesuits.

    As for your point about my word choice, why thank you! I have tried to avoid a lapsing into legal jargon. If you had said that I wrote like an attorney I would have been wounded to my core!

  13. As someone partial to the Jesuit order, this doesn’t seem unfair. The Jesuit order at its best is an amazing force for good for the Church. That the order has not been doing that as it should is undeniable.

    I will say that the number of good Jesuits is probably larger then you guess, and I hope that the newer priests are representing a more orthodox view as they seem to be doing in the Church at large.

  14. Mike Petrik says:


    I’m afraid that you are indeed vulnerable to the charge of engaging in legal jargon with a license. As you are well-aware, the source of the “aid and comfort” language is Section 3 of Article III of the US Constitution, regarded by non-anarchists to be the law of the land. I hope you are at least comforted by the fact that the only thing that could possibly annoy an anarchist more than language sourced to the military is language grounded in the law.

    In any case, I enjoy military jargon. When my law firm first started organizing itself into “pods,” I bristled so intensely that I counter-suggested “regiments.” While my suggestion was rejected (of course), we were at least able to save ourselves from pod.


  15. Gabriel Austin says:

    There certainly are good priests and brothers still in the Society of Jesus. The problem is that it is not they who are at the top of the order.

    Fr. Reese’s removal as editor of AMERICA was insisted upon by Jesuit fathers in his own province, when he refused to stop giving space to disgraced priests such as Fr. Curran.

  16. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Mike, I am shocked, chagrined and dismayed to learn that, without scienter on my part, I have breached the voluntarily assumed duty of avoiding legal terminology. I would note that no damages of course will be taken against me as a result of this breach, pursuant to relevant case law and all applicable statutes and local rules. Nothing of course in the foregoing statement should be taken as an admission on my part other than as it pertains to the example set forth in your comment above. (Nothing, absolutely nothing, kills writing style more thoroughly than legalese!)

    (As for being an attorney working as part of a pod, I believe my comment would have been that the only pods I am familiar with contain peas, and I doubt if anyone wanted pea-brained attorneys!)


  17. George Crosley says:

    As a victim of five years of Jesuit education, I’d say that most of the criticism here and elsewhere on the internet is pretty mild. Until guys like the creep at my old school who organized propaganda for Saddam Hussein get the boot, there won’t be enough criticism out there for me, period.

    Shoot me an email when you get a chance, Donald.

  18. e. says:


    No, the embarrassment is you folks who consistently use the words of the Popes to support your own hatred of various “others”…

    Pardon me, but that’s the very thing you notoriously do both here and at Vox Nova.

    I find it hilarious that you would condemn others for “consistently us[ing] the words of the Popes to support” things you yourself would thereby surreptitiously feign support thereof and, in fact, for even downright sinister (intrinsically evil) things — like, say, abortion & its most devoted acolytes, certain pro-abortionist politicos?

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